President Rodrigo Duterte is pointing out fingers to informal settlers for deforestation.

Who’s responsible for deforestation? Duterte blames squatters

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte is pointing out fingers to informal settlers for deforestation.

Poor farm families cut down trees to use for home construction, Duterte said in a late-night televised address Tuesday.

“‘Yung average Pilipino, they cannot afford a concrete house. So halos lahat diyan… let us use the word as being understood by all, ‘yung mga squatters puro kahoy ‘yan. Bibili ‘yan including coconut wood,” he explained.

“Ang problema niyan sa bukid, talagang magpuputol ‘yon ng kahoy because ang mga Filipino ‘yan lang ang… Eh saan man sila magkuha ng semento? Where do they cut the trees? In Canada? O pupunta pa sila doon sa South America o Africa?” he furthered.

Duterte said he is in a quandary on how to address illegal logging.

“Sabihin mo na you want to help, eh ‘di mag-semento tayo. I don’t know if that is really feasible or viable, if you may, kasi mahal. Itong kahoy lang na binibili ng mga squatters pati ‘yung talagang walang titulo at they look for a place, squatting on some others’ property.”

On Sunday, Duterte ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the illegal mining and logging activities in Cagayan Valley, after some areas in the region were submerged due to heavy rains brought by typhoon “Ulysses.”

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‘A plus for humanity’: Duterte thanks foreign donors for AstraZeneca vax

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte thanked the donor-countries for the 487,200 doses of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines developed by British-Swede drugmaker AstraZeneca that arrived in the country Thursday evening.

The initial shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines was funded by 13 countries involved in the COVAX facility, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“I don’t know how to express my gratitude to the donor countries. That you remembered the poor nations is, in fact, already, a plus for humanity,” Duterte said in a speech during the turnover ceremony of the AstraZeneca vaccines held at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“In behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and our people, I’d like to say again that we felt gratitude in our hearts and may God bless you for your benevolence,” he added.

The 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine were developed in South Korea.

They were donated by Germany, European Union, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Australia and Greece.

Bilang na mga araw! Duterte expects to be a lame duck President soon

President Rodrigo Duterte expects his power and influence to diminish as the end of his term nears.

In a speech in Valenzuela City Thursday (March 4), Duterte said he will be a lame duck President in the last six months of his term, which will end on June 30, 2022.

He made the remark as he invited guests at the inauguration of two school buildings in Valenzuela City to let him know what else they need while he’s in office.

“Good as any time to say that we have done our part. At kung mayroon pa akong maidagdag with the limited time that I have, it’s almost ineffective President, half a year na lang ako,” Duterte said.

“The other half would be the lame months, lame duck na ako. And that is natural. It happens. It will happen. Pero ngayon, kung anong madagdag ko, sabihin lang po ninyo,” the President added.

Duterte previously allayed fears he will push for term extension by saying he’s looking forward to stepping down in 2022.

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